Over the last 10 years, I've been recruited by companies like Google, Apple, HP, Paypal, Ebay, Verizon, VMware, Meraki, numerous startups, and countless other companies through LinkedIn.
There's no doubt about it:
The way we find our jobs is fundamentally changing.
That's why it's so critical to make sure you have an awesome LinkedIn profile. It's now one of the main tools that recruiters use to find and vet top talent.
Here are 7 tips on how to create an amazing LinkedIn profile:
Stop living under a rock. I'm serious. Get out there and network with people in person. One of the ways I built my network of 7,338 LinkedIn connections was simply by meeting people in real life. Once you meet them in real life and build a meaningful connection, you can add them on LinkedIn and the majority of them will accept that connection. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Conferences - For example, I work in technology, so I'll go to technology and agency conferences to meet my peers. Examples include Dreamforce, Boxworks, VMworld, and the Mirren conference. Sometimes the larger events will offer a free general pass as well! How do you find these conferences? Just Google your industry and "conference" and you should see some conferences pop up in the results. #GetOutThere
- Always try to eat lunch with someone - This is a concept from Keith Ferrazzi that I love. As you meet new people, you can get to know them on a much deeper level by spending one on one time with them over coffee or lunch. This will help you build more meaningful relationships. #NeverEatAlone
- Have a professional profile photo. And by professional, I don't mean a cropped photo from your last Friday night out with friends with an Instagram filter. Hire a professional photographer or ask your friends that are aspiring photographers to help you out. Make sure you dress sharply. First impressions make a difference. Put in the effort and set the bar high.
- Add media into the summary section. This could be your portfolio of work, specific media pieces you're interested in, or awards and recognition you've received. It's not just about you saying how great you are. Let your "digital trophies" and work do the talking for you, too.
- Don't be shy. Ask people you've worked with, whether it's clients, partners, or coworkers, for endorsements and recommendations. Here's the secret to getting these recommendations: Before you ask, write a recommendation for them (just make sure you really do believe they've done extraordinary work, as you want the review to be genuine, thoughtful, and authentic). Need help in asking for the recommendation? I've even written a sample email below that you could start with as a baseline (I encourage you to modify it so that it's in your own voice): "Hey ______, I've really enjoyed working on ________ with you. I'm working on improving my LinkedIn profile and online presence and was wondering if you could help me with a recommendation. It'd really mean a lot to me. Thank you for the help!" It really is that simple!
Customize your LinkedIn url - This way, when you guide people to your LinkedIn profile, it'll look a lot more professional. For example, which version looks better?
- Version #1:
- Version #2: - #2 looks much cleaner, doesn't it? (That's my actual LinkedIn profile by the way, feel free to add me!)
Publish your own content. Want to build a strong brand and to be perceived as a subject matter expert in your field? Write content that's top notch in terms of the value it provides to others. Ask yourself, "Is this article going to improve the lives of others dramatically?" If yes, write it! And make sure you do it with your own authentic voice. Here are a few types of posts you could write:
- Listicles of useful tools or resources in your industry
- Your own personal career story
- Your perspective on market trends in your field
- Share relevant content. Don't have time to write your own content? Share other people's content, then! For example, if you're in the field of technology, you might want to share breaking tech news. How do you find the latest news to share? Here's a cool tip I learned on Facebook: Whenever you like the Facebook page of a tech publication, you can opt to see it "first in your news feed" so that you're unlikely to miss it. Then you can click on that article and share it on LinkedIn. Here's an example below: